Has FMIC's Purchase of SWR Affected Quality?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mark Jacobs, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. Mark Jacobs

    Mark Jacobs

    Dec 16, 2000
    Perhaps it's too soon to say but I was wondering if anyone's noticed a difference one way or the other.
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  3. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Just 4 or so months after the purchase, it may be too soon to tell. I would definitely lay down some bills saying that the quality will head downhill in the future, though.
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    We had a Fender Representative in my Guitar Center(Im an employee there) the other day and I asked him exactly what was going to happen to SWR.

    He responded by saying that all the current SWR gear will remain the same. Same components, same designs, same construction menthods. The only difference is the location where they will be built. They will now be built in a Fender owned factory in California (Catalonia IIRC).

    He stated that Fender will take a lot from the SWR designs for use in Fender branded gear, and that SWR will continue with product development and research. I dont recall if he stated that it was the same design team or not, but he did suggest that SWR would be its own entity unaffected by Fender's own "modifications" to amplifier designs.

    Though Im not positive about some details, he made it absolutely clear that SWR products would stay the same.

    I also told him I knew you guys would be interested. :D

    Next time he's around Ill hand him a card with the TB address to hand to some guys at Fender. I think our discussions here could be a big influence in how they run buisiness.

  5. Yggdrasil


    Aug 16, 2001
    I think Ford said the same when they bought Jaguar...
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    yeah, of course what they say and what they do could be completely different. I just wantedto let you know what they said.

    I found it interesting that he specifically said "same designs, same components". It seems like one of the things that usually happens in these situations is they begin to substitute higher quality componenets for whatever cost less. Lets hope they dont.

  7. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Two experiences:

    * responses via email from the Fender/SWR tech support have just been the standard "go see your dealer" stuff. The old emails from Kelly were always brief but actually answered the question.

    * local shop repaired my SWR SM-400S (fan sensor). Got the part in timely way from Fender, it was the right part, and the job came out fine.

    Let's hope for more of the latter experiences.
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Judging from my 10-year-old Triad cab, the workmanship wasn't too great from the beginning...
  9. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I thought Fender moved it's amp manufacturing to Mexico.
  10. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    He told me that the SWR amps would be made in a Fender factory in Cali. Maybe its a new one just for the SWR gear.

  11. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    During the first few weeks after the SWR buyout, Morgan Ringwald, who I think is something to the effect of Marketing or Publicity director for Fender appeared here on Talbass and also on the forums at swrsound.com. You can do a search for mention of his name...

    ...but if I remember correctly (and please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong,) according to him, the Workingman and I believe LA series of products will be made at the Fender facility in Mexico. The Pro stuff gets the California treatment.

    From a question I asked Morgan on swrsound, the response was that Fender products would stay Fender products and they would not take any design ideas from the SWR team...the SWR design team and Fender Bass Amp design team were going to be kept separate...if that's changed, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing...

    ...haven't heard much lately from Kelly either...
  12. Mark Jacobs

    Mark Jacobs

    Dec 16, 2000
    I think that RevGroove is correct. Morgan said much the same thing over at Fenderforum.com
  13. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    When Fender took over, music stores everywhere suddenly became "authorized warranty repair centers" for SWR gear. Many of these shops have never sold or seen SWR gear. I sent an email to SWR asking for a suggestion for a truly qualified repair center, to have some warranty work done on my SM-900. Never got a reply. My local music store (who are listed as "authorized" from the SWR site search) made it clear that they had no interest in having anything to do with my issue.

    So, I've got an SWR amp under warranty that no one seems to want to support. Yes, I'm sure that if I do some more legwork I'll find a solution (it's a minor problem), but should I *have* to do that kind of legwork, especially for a product under warranty? No!

    I've been a loyal SWR whore for years, but I'm done. I have nothing against Fender on general principle, but this is the straw that broke the camel's back... my recent SWR acquisitions have had some QC issues, and seeing as SWR/Fender apparently let go some great folks (e.g., Rehan) and can't even answer my email, I have little faith in them to turn any corners that would mean much to me...

    Just my 2¢...
  14. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Man...I had forgotten how much I hate Fender as a company. I am an avid SWR user and had been used to sending an email thru the old SWR site telling them what I wanted and BAM!!! it was done.
    I send an email asking for a couple of prices on replacement plastic corners for a Goliath cab....a piece of plastic for God's sake!!! They send me an email giving me the "new" part number and bluntly refer me to my local Fender dealer.... I am glad I have what SWR products I need as Fender will get no more of my business. You guys joke about the "pre" Fender SWR stuff but I see it happening. Corporate A-holes!

    (Sorry bout the rant...it's just really kinda upsetting when a good thing is lost.)
  15. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Rehan was awesome...always took care of me. I was also told he was "no longer with the company".